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Ocean City Food Drive to Help Families and Shelter Animals

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Food Cupboard coordinator Regina Ralston stacks shelves at the Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard in 2022.

By MADDY VITALE

Each year, the Ocean City Board of Realtors (OCBOR) hosts the “Food Is Love, Share Some Love” winter food drive.

And each year, the community donates an abundance of food, paper products, and other needed items to the drive, which in turn go to the Ocean City Ecumenical Food Cupboard.

The Food Cupboard, housed in St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Ocean City, provides an array of foods and supplies year-round to those in need.

Helping people has been the focus of the OCBOR food drive for many years. But this year, the OCBOR decided it was time to help out some four-legged friends as well. Donations for the animals at the Humane Society of Ocean City (HSOC) are included in this year’s winter food drive.

Donations through the OCBOR’s Community Services project are being collected from now until Feb. 28, according to Gloria Votta, chairwoman of the Community Services Committee of the OCBOR.

“We encourage our realtor family, friends and neighbors to donate items for all the residents of Ocean City this winter for families and animals in need,” Votta said.

Phil Bellucci, HSOC operations manager, said in an interview Monday that the HSOC staff is very appreciative of the efforts by the OCBOR to include the shelter in this year’s donation drive.

“We cannot be more honored or proud of the relationship we have with our friends at the OCBOR,” Bellucci said.

He continued, “Throughout the summer, we respond to numerous animal control calls from their tenants with everything from an opossum in the bottom of their outside trash can, to a middle of the night call to remove a bat from someone’s living area to a concerned visitor calling to report an injured seagull.”

HSOC provides quality living space to house shelter animals until they find forever homes. (Photo courtesy of HSOC Facebook page)

Bellucci called the OCBOR relationship with HSOC “strong.”

“We both are striving for the same goal of not only providing our full-time residents with the best of service and care, but to also make sure our guests have the best possible experience during their visit to our beautiful town,” he said.

Regina Ralston, Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard coordinator, also commented Monday about the OCBOR’s generosity.

“They have been a great partner for the Food Cupboard over the years — not only with food and personal care donations — but also with monetary support,” Ralston said. “They always ask us for specific items we need to help stock our shelves. I am looking forward to their continued generosity this year.”

Votta, who has been involved with the food drive since it began, is also involved with the Ecumenical Council.

Each year she is so pleased with the community support to help those less fortunate.

“We thank everyone who has donated in the past and hope that you can help again,” Votta said in a statement.

Humane Society of Ocean City Operations Manager Phil Bellucci, left, is shown with HSOC Executive Director Bill Hollingsworth.

Donations may be dropped off at the OCBOR office located at 405 22nd Street.

Here is a list of some items needed by the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard for families in need.

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Crackers
  • Canned Fruit
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Laundry Detergent, small bottles
  • Dawn Dishwashing Detergent, small bottles
  • Cereal
  • Tissues
  • Shop Rite or Acme gift cards

Here is the Humane Society of Ocean City list of items needed for the shelter animals:

  • Canned Cat Food
  • Canned Dog Food
  • Dog and Cat Treats
  • Rabbit Pellets
  • Cat and Dog Beds
  • Towels, Blankets
  • Paper Towels
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Gift Cards to Tractor Supply, PetSmart or Chewy
  • Gift Cards to Acme, Shoprite and Target for dog and cat enrichment items

For more information contact Vicki Heebner at 609-399-0128 or Vicki@ocbor.com.

Donations may be dropped off at the Ocean City Board of Realtors office at 405 22nd Street.